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  1. Clear your schedules for the next two nights as "Godfather Week" takes over Poker After Dark. Doyle Brunson will be joined by a handful of poker’s biggest names as they compete for astronomical stakes in a mixed game cash game on PokerGO. Along with Brunson, Gus Hansen, Daniel 'Jungleman' Cates, Scott Seiver, Brian Rast, and Billy O'Neill will be playing mixed games at limits of $1,500/$3,000. The minimum buy-in is $50,000 and they will be playing HORSE and Deuce to Seven Triple Draw. The action starts at 6 pm ET (3 pm PT) on PokerGO. The all-star team of Ali Nejad and Nick Schulman will be in the booth to provide commentary and analysis for both nights of action. Will Hansen Provide the Action? Hansen took a bit of time off from high-stakes poker in more recent years but appears to be back and ready to tackle some of the best at incredible limits. The 'Great Dane' has a career the includes more than $10.2 million in live tournament earnings, and he is also the owner of three WPT titles and one WSOP gold bracelet. Hansen has been known to bring a style all his own to the poker table, and it's often been one that drives a lot of the action in a game. Will we be getting the old Hansen driving play or will we be getting a newer, more tame version of this poker great? That's a question we can't wait to see answered come Tuesday. Cates, Seiver, and Rast Represent Today's Mixed Game Specialists Cates, Seiver, and Rast represent the best mixed game players in poker today. Cates is the youngest of the three at 28, Seiver is the middle child at 33, and then Rast is 36. Their ages may not seem old, but these guys have all played millions of hands of poker between online and live play and regularly lock horns in games of the highest stakes. Having the opportunity to watch the three of them play in such a high-caliber lineup at limits larger than most of the paychecks many of us see on a monthly basis will be nothing short of a treat. It will also provide a great learning experience because with hole cards shown, the audience will be able to pull back the curtain for insight into every street of every hand. Don’t Sleep On Billy O'Neill If there was a name you wouldn't recognize at this table, it'd be that of Billy O'Neill, but don't be surprised if he leaves the game as the biggest winner. If you follow poker closely, you've likely seen his name pop up here or there, or you may recognize his face from a photo or two. Even if you attempted to look up some of his results, you wouldn’t find much. HendonMob.com only has him winning just more than $195,000 and all of those results come from 2010 to 2012. O'Neill is a regular in Bobby's Room at Bellagio or the Ivey Room at ARIA, playing the highest stakes in all games. All of his peers know the level of skill he brings to the table and the stakes won't be foreign to him. The $1,500/$3,000 mixed game action for Godfather Week on Poker After Dark starts Tuesday, October 23, at 6 pm ET on PokerGO. Get your popcorn ready. If you don't already have a PokerGO subscription, sign up using the code "pocket5s" to receive $10 off an annual subscription.
  2. The World Poker Tour was back at Gardens Casino in Southern California for the second time in Season XVII, this time for the WPT Gardens Poker Championship. Six players remain from the 253-entry field, and it was Frank Stepuchin who bagged the chip lead. Stepuchin was joined at the official final table by Shannon Shorr, Steve Sung, Brent Roberts, Ray Qartomy, and Jonathan Abdellatif. The $10,000 buy-in event was the first WPT Main Tour event to feature the delayed TV final table format. After playing down to the final six players on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, the tournament was put on ice for what will be nearly two months before play resumes on Tuesday, March 12 - 55 days, to be exact. That is when the final six will compete for the $548,825 top prize at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Stepuchin, who hails from Park City, Utah, and entered this event with $354,625 in live tournament earnings, bagged the chip lead in a very large way, with 4.065 million in chips. The next closest was Shorr with 1.71 million. Belgian player Jonathan Abdellatif, who held nearly $1.7 million in live tournament earnings entering the Season XVII WPT Gardens Poker Championship, finished as the short stack with 555,000. WPT Gardens Poker Championship Final Table Seat 1: Shannon Shorr - 1,710,000 Seat 2: Frank Stepuchin - 4,065,000 Seat 3: Brent Roberts - 1,385,000 Seat 4: Jonathan Abdellatif - 555,000 Seat 5: Ray Qartomy - 820,000 Seat 6: Steve Sung - 1,580,000 Road To the Final Table Stepuchin emerged as a big stack right out of the gate. He finished as the Day 1a chip leader and was second in chips entering Day 2. At the time, he was behind another player that reached the final table, Qartomy. Stepuchin finished sixth in chips after Day 2 when Shorr bagged the chip lead, then Stepuchin led the final 19 players after Day 3 before riding that chip lead into the final table. On Day 4, Stepuchin eliminated Toby Lewis in seventh place and Allen Pock in 15th place. Eliminating Lewis in seventh set the official WPT final table, and it came just before 10 p.m. PT on Wednesday when the tournament was in Level 24 with the blinds at 15,000-30,000 with a 30,000 big blind ante, according to WPT coverage. Shorr had opened with a raise from the cutoff seat to 60,000, Lewis called from the button, and Stepuchin called from the small blind. The flop was [poker card="Jc"][poker card="5h"][poker card="2h"] and action checked to Lewis. He bet 75,000 before Stepuchin check-raised to 190,000. Shorr folded, but Lewis made the call to see the [poker card="Kd"] land on the turn. Stepuchin fired 360,000 and Lewis called to see the [poker card="3d"] appear on the river. Stepuchin bet all in, having Lewis and his remaining 360,000 covered. Lewis called with the [poker card="Kh"][poker card="Jh"] but saw the bad news when his two pair was second best to Stepuchin’s pocket fives - [poker card="5c"][poker card="5d"]. For Shorr, Sung, and Roberts, they’re second, third, and fourth in chips, respectively. Shorr ended Day 2 with the chip lead, but it wasn’t without a couple of very eventful hands that saw Shorr with plenty of chips on the line. First, he was all in with pocket kings against the pocket queens of Dan Smith and earned a double up. After that, Shorr took out Mike Eskandari, but did so with an inferior hand when his pocket sevens came from behind against Eskandari’s queens. On that hand, all of the money went in preflop and Shorr flopped a set. Qartomy reached the final table as the second shortest stack remaining, but he could’ve been knocked out by the lowly [poker card="9c"][poker card="4d"] in seventh place had his [poker card="Kd"][poker card="Qd"] not held up. Qartomy three-bet jammed for 410,000 over a raise to 60,000 from Stepuchin. Stepuchin called, but Qartomy’s hand held strong to give him the double up. On Day 3 of the WPT Gardens Poker Championship, Qartomy was the player to send everyone into the money, doing so when he knocked out Raul Lozano in 33rd place. Qartomy held the [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Qs"] and was behind Lozano’s [poker card="Ac"][poker card="Ks"], but a queen flopped and Lozano couldn’t come back from it. Some of the notable players to cash in the event but fall short of the final table were Garrett Greer (8th - $66,955), WPT Champions Club member Marvin Rettenmaier (11th - $43,220), Ricky 'RatedGTO' Guan (13th - $35,550), and Nicole Schwartz (20th - $25,225). Schwartz won her way into the event by winning a $100 charity event. She fired an additional $100 bullet in that event, so her $10,000 seat cost her $200, but she then turned that into more than $25,000 in prize money. Can Shorr, Sung, and Roberts Finally Break Into the WPT Champions Club? Shorr, Sung, and Roberts are no strangers to tournament poker. They’ve been around the game for a long time and have impressive career résumés. Entering this event, Shorr had nearly $6.7 million in live tournament earnings, Sung had more than $5.5 million, and Roberts was just over $2 million. All three have experienced podium finishes in WPT events, but none have won a WPT title. Shorr’s best WPT finish was a second-place result in the Season XII WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open. In a field of 415 entries, Shorr finished runner-up to James Calderaro and took home $190,039. "I'm on cloud nine after reaching the Gardens final table," Shorr told PocketFives. "I've been putting a ton of work into my poker game and my mind and body lately, so to have a big result like this in a major tournament is really special, personally." Shorr also placed fourth in the Season IX WPT Southern Poker Championship and fifth in the Season VII WPT World Championship for $144,985 and $408,550, respectively. "Winning a WPT title would be incredible," Shorr added. "I've had tons of final tables in big events worldwide but haven't won a 'major.' Maybe this is the one." Sung has three official WPT final tables on record, with his best result coming in the Season VI WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star event when he took second to Brandon Cantu and won $585,000. "It feels amazing to have reached the Gardens final table, to be able to enjoy the next couple months knowing that the final table will always be there," Sung said. "I always wanted to experience making the 'November Nine,' and this is the next best thing, the 'March Six!'" Sung also has a pair of fourth-place finishes on the World Poker Tour, first in the Season VI WPT Spanish Championship for €117,400 ($164,943) and then in the Season VII WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic for $396,205. “Winning a WPT title means that my goal has been finally accomplished,” Sung said when asked what a winning a WPT title would mean to him. “I've expected to win one over a decade ago and had to come back from self-inflicted setbacks in multiple aspects of my being.” Roberts does have a WPTDeepStacks title from back in 2016, but a WPT Main Tour title has eluded him. His best WPT Main Tour finish was in the Season XIV WPT Legends of Poker when he took third in a field of 786 entries to win $251,035. Hublot WPT Player of the Year Implications The final six have locked up 600 points in the Season XVII Hublot WPT Player of the Year race, currently led by Tony Ruberto with 1,850 points, and there are 1,200 points up top. The points could mean the most to Qartomy, who already has 650 points on the season and is in 40th place on the leaderboard. A win would vault him to the same 1,850 points as Ruberto, but Qartomy would hold the tiebreaker of most money won as he’d have $652,474 to Ruberto’s $530,692. Sung also stands to benefit well from the Hublot WPT Player of the Year points earned at this final table. Entering the event, Sung has 450 points and was in 57th place. He’s guaranteed to move to 1,050 points, which would put him in the top 15, and has upside to move into second place in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race with a victory. Sung now has five WPT Main Tour cashes in Season XVII, including a ninth-place finish in the WPT Gardens Poker Festival that kicked off the season. Stepuchin entered this event with 100 points, Shorr 100 points, Roberts 175 points, and Abdellatif 50 points. Champion To Be Crowned on March 12 The final six competitors have locked up $110,225 for reaching the final table and will be back in action on March 12 in Las Vegas to compete for the $548,825 top prize. First place includes a $15,000 buy-in into the season-ending Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions. "It's a bizarre feeling traveling to LA for five days, playing nonstop in a tournament, and to not know my result upon leaving," Shorr said. "I really like the format, though, and am all for anything that helps grow the game." "I'm going to enjoy the next 55 days like no other!" Sung said.
  3. The World Poker Tour crowned four champions this week, with three coming from the WPT's delayed final tables that took place in Las Vegas and another one coming in Northern California. The conclusion of these four events cause a lot of shakeup in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year standings, and it's now two-time WPT champion Erkut Yilmaz as the frontrunner with only a handful of events to go. Hublot WPT Player of the Year Top 10 1. Erkut Yilmaz - 2,300 points 2. Dylan Linde - 2,000 points 3. Ping Liu - 1,900 points 4. Tony Ruberto - 1,850 points 5. Jake Schwartz - 1,725 points 6. Tony Tran - 1,500 points 7. David Baker - 1,400 points 8. Vinicius Lima - 1,400 points 9. Steve Sung - 1,400 points 10. Ray Qartomy - 1,350 points Yilmaz moved to 2,300 points and into the Hublot WPT Player of the Year lead after he won his second title of the season. Yilmaz won WPT Rolling Thunder in Lincoln, California, for $303,920 and 1,000 points. He defeated a field of 280 entries to win. Earlier in the season, Yilmaz topped a field of 1,075 entries in the WPT Borgata Poker Open to win $575,112 and 1,200 points. Now currently in second place is another player who just had a chance to win his second title of Season XVII, Dylan Linde. Linde won the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic in December for $1.631 million and 1,400 points. At the WPT Rolling Thunder event that Yilmaz won, Linde finished fourth for $95,350 and 600 points. Entering the recent log jam in the WPT schedule, Ping Liu was in front with 1,900 points. Liu hasn't won a WPT event in Season XVII, though, and was on top thanks to his six cashes and two final tables. After the happenings over the past few days, Liu is now third in the race. Rounding out the top five are currently Tony Ruberto and Jake Schwartz. Ruberto had a great start to the season, with a fourth-place finish at WPT Choctaw and a victory at WPT Maryland, but he's only managed one cash since then. Schwartz has come on nicely in the second half of Season XVII, posting second- and fourth-place finishes at WPT bestbet and WPT Fallsview recently, and then he took 14th at WPT Rolling Thunder. In addition to Yilmaz, David Baker, Vinicius Lima, and Frank Stepuchin won WPT titles this week. Baker won the WPT L.A. Poker Classic for $1.015 million, Lima won the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open for $728,430, and Stepuchin won the WPT Gardens Poker Championship for $548,825. Baker is now seventh with 1,400 points, Lima is eighth with 1,400 points, and Stepuchin is 12th with 1,300 points in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race. There is a tiebreaker for players who have the same amount of points. In those cases, the player with the most money won in the current season takes the better position. At the end of Season XVII, the Hublot WPT Player of the Year will win a $15,000 WPT Passport that can be used as buy-ins to any Season XVIII global WPT event and a Hublot watch. Second place in the race earns a $7,500 WPT Passport and third place gets a $2,500 WPT Passport.
  4. The World Poker Tour’s third Las Vegas final table next week will be the Season XVII WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open. The final six from the booming 1,415-entry field will look to crown a champion on Wednesday, following the conclusion of the WPT L.A. Poker Classic on Monday and WPT Gardens Poker Championship on Tuesday. Dave Farah is leading the final six with a first-place prize of $728,430 awaiting the winner. Joining Farah and his chip-leading stack of 18.85 million will be Brandon Hall, Daniel Buzgon, Joseph Di Rosa Rojas, Ian O’Hara, and Vinicius Lima. Come Wednesday’s return to action, the players will have been on a 41-day hiatus. If you’d like to relive the action leading up to the final table, you can do so by reading our extensive recap right here. What Are They Playing For? With 1,415 entries, the Season XVII WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open generated the largest WPT Main Tour event at Borgata and the third-largest WPT Main Tour field in history. The prize pool topped $4.5 million to easily surpass the $3 million guarantee and up top is a juicy $728,430, which includes a $15,000 seat into the season-ending Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions, and a luxurious Hublot Big Bang timepiece. 1st Place: $728,430 2nd Place: $485,611 3rd Place: $359,555 4th Place: $268,810 5th Place: $202,942 6th Place: $154,734 [caption id="attachment_623071" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] WPT Champions Cup at Borgata (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] How To Watch the Season XVII WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open Final Table The final table for the Season XVII WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open will play out on March 13, starting at 4 p.m. PT at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The event started at the end of January at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and reached the final table just before the calendar rolled over into February. The final table will be filmed for broadcast as part of the WPT’s televised schedule of events. You can wait for that airing on FOX Sports Regional Networks, or you could tune in live to the stream of the events that can be viewed on PokerGO. If you don’t have a subscription to PokerGO, sign up today using the promo code "POCKET5S" for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan. Let’s meet the Season XVII WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final table. [caption id="attachment_623074" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Ian O'Hara (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 1: Ian O’Hara - 5,100,000 Ian O’Hara is often a name that rolls off fellow players’ tongues when asked who the best young player is in the game today, especially if you’re looking for upcoming talent in the United States. With more than $2.2 million in live tournament earnings and a respected reputation from his peers, O’Hara packs a big punch coming into the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open finale. He’s never reached a WPT Main Tour final table, though. O’Hara’s closest call was a ninth-place result in the Season XIV WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic worth $89,875. The most prominent live tournament victory of O’Hara’s young career came during the 2016 Coco Poker Open in Coconut Creek, Florida. He won the $2,500 Championship Event for $212,830. The largest live tournament score for O’Hara, to date, is a runner-up result in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $25,400 High Roller in 2015, when he chopped the event with Jason Mercier. O’Hara actually got more prize money than Mercier, winning $527,313, but Mercier officially scored first place. O’Hara has 5.1 million in chips entering the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final table, which is good for fifth overall. [caption id="attachment_623073" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Dave Farah (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 2: Dave Farah - 18,850,000 Dave Farah is from New Jersey and came into the Season XVII WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open with just more than $80,000 in live tournament earnings. His run in this event is now the largest of his live tournament career, but it isn’t the first time he’s made the money in a World Poker Tour event at Borgata. In the Season XV WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open, Farah placed 41st from a field of 1,312 entries to win $13,607. In Season XVI, also in the Borgata Winter Poker Open, Farah finished 75th from a field of 1,244 to score $8,623. This season’s run is now his third consecutive deep run in this event and he could truly make his third time a charm by capping it off with a WPT title. Farah doesn’t quite have the huge chip lead that Darren Elias has at the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table or Frank Stepuchin has at the WPT Gardens Poker Classic final table, but he does have 18.85 million of the 56.5 million in play, which is 33.3%. He’s also got a good chunk more than Hall’s second-place stack of 14.1 million. [caption id="attachment_623075" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Joseph Di Rosa Rojas (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 3: Joseph Di Rosa Rojas - 5,800,000 Joseph Di Rosa Rojas is the first of two players at this WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final table who is making his first WPT Main Tour cash. The other is Vinicius Lima. Di Rosa Rojas, a Venezuelan, does have a World Series of Poker gold bracelet, though, so it’s not as though he hasn’t been to the winner’s circle before in a marquee event. Di Rosa Rojas won the 2017 WSOP Marathon tournament, topping a field of 1,759 entries to score $690,469. Entering the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final table, Di Rosa Rojas is fourth in chips with 5.8 million and fourth on the Venezuelan all-time money list. A finish in second place or better would move Di Rosa Rojas to second on that list, and a finish in third would jump him to third. [caption id="attachment_623070" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Brandon Hall (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 4: Brandon Hall - 14,100,000 Brandon Hall has had some quiet years recently when it comes to poker, but he’s back on the big stage and looking for another big trophy to add to his trophy case. This time, it’d be the WPT Champions Cup. Hall’s first big live poker score came in 2009 when he took first place in the Aruba Poker Classic for $753,330. In that tournament, Hall defeated Robert Mizrachi in heads-up play to win the title. A handful of years later, Hall finished runner-up in a $1,500 buy-in WSOP event for $381,885. Hall has had some success on the felt during the hiatus in this event. In late February, he finished third in the Parx Big Stax 1100 event for $55,241. Hall enters the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final table second in chips with 14.1 million. [caption id="attachment_623076" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Vinicius Lima (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 5: Vinicius Lima - 3,550,000 In similar fashion to Di Rosa Rojas, Vinicius Lima is making his first WPT Main Tour cash with his run in this event. Reaching the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final table and already earning $154,734 is Lima’s largest live tournament score, and he’ll be the shortest stack returning for the final table. Overall, he boasts $263,186 in live tournament earnings ahead of his finish in this one. Lima only has one prior six-figure result on record, which came from a $1,600 buy-in tournament in Las Vegas when he won $102,149 with a third-place finish. In 2016, Lima won the Poker Night in America Grand Poker Series Main Event for $56,366. Lima’s stack to start the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final table will be 3.55 million. [caption id="attachment_623072" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Daniel Buzgon (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 6: Daniel Buzgon - 9,100,000 Like O’Hara, Daniel Buzgon has enjoyed a close call on the World Poker Tour. In fact, Buzgon’s reached a WPT Main Tour final table twice before in his career. Both came in Season X when Buzgon finished third in the WPT Borgata Poker Open and fourth at WPT Jacksonville, winning $335,433 and $94,624, respectively. The Borgata score is, to date, the largest live tournament score of Buzgon’s career. Buzgon is sponsored by BorgataPoker.com, so he’s representing the home team in his trip to the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final table. Entering the final table, Buzgon, a New Jersey native, has $2.035 million in live tournament earnings. Buzgon is third in chips entering the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open final table with 9.1 million. Hublot WPT Player of the Year Implications With a prize pool of more than $4.5 million, the maximum amount of Hublot WPT Player of the Year points will be up for grabs in this one, with the winner getting 1,400 points. The rest of the point earnings for the final table as follows. 1st Place: 1,400 points 2nd Place: 1,200 points 3rd Place: 1,100 points 4th Place: 1,000 points 5th Place: 900 points 6th Place: 800 points No player in the final six has previously accumulated Hublot WPT Player of the Year points in Season XVII. At the end of Season XVII, the Hublot WPT Player of the Year will win a $15,000 WPT Passport that can be used as buy-ins to any Season XVIII global WPT event. Second place in the race earns a $7,500 WPT Passport and third place gets a $2,500 WPT Passport.
  5. The World Poker Tour has a new WPT Champions Club member. On Monday night, Canadien Demo Kiriopoulos captured first place in the Season XVII WPT Fallsview Poker Classic Main Event. Kiriopoulos topped a record-breaking field of 602 entries to win the C$517,424 ($382,894) top prize. WPT Fallsview Final Table Results 1st: Demo Kiriopoulos - C$517,424* 2nd: Wing Yeung - C$362,853 3rd: Andrew Pantling - C$233,339 4th: Jake Schwartz - C$167,388 5th: James Morgan - C$128,471 6th: Noeung Troeung - C$105,170 *First place includes a $15,000 seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions. Nineteen players remained to enter the third and final day of play, with Kiriopoulos sitting 14th on the leaderboard. Chanracy Khun was the only remaining WPT Champions Club member in the field and Garrett Dansereau was in the lead. Khun busted in 11th place, just after the last woman standing, Christine Do, went out in 12th. Kiriopoulos then knocked out Yuri Siniak in 10th place, as Andrew Pantling continued to lead the way. Pantling padded his lead with the knockout of Jason Sagle in ninth place, and then Brad Lampman was eliminated in eighth place by Jake Schwartz. Dansereau, the start-of-day chip leader, bowed out in seventh when his [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Ts"] couldn't win against Schwartz's [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Kc"], according to the WPT coverage. With six players left, it was still Pantling out in front in a big way. He had 9.475 million and Schwartz was the next largest stack at 4.07 million. At the time, Kiriopoulos was fourth in chips with 2.855 million. Kiriopoulos began chipping up right away and soon found himself second in chips behind only Pantling, who had also chipped up to more than 10 million in chips. On the 28th hand of six-handed play, Noeung Troeung was eliminated in sixth place by James Morgan. A handful of hands later, Kiriopoulos clashed big against Pantling to take over the chip lead. During five-handed play, Kiriopoulos and Pantling exchanged the chip lead a few times. Pantling then took a big chunk out of Morgan before Morgan busted in fifth place to Wing Yeung. Schwartz then went out in fourth place when he couldn't win with the [poker card="Qh"][poker card="Jh"] against the [poker card="As"][poker card="8d"] of Kiriopoulos. Three-handed play started with Pantling and Kiriopoulos almost tied for the chip lead, and Yeung in third place. Yeung found a double through Kiriopoulos, then Kiriopoulos found a double through Pantling. After the dinner break, Kiriopoulos came back and went to work. He quickly moved into the lead before he won a big pot off Yeung who had just doubled through Pantling. That allowed Kiriopoulos to really separate himself from the pack. Pantling went out to Yeung in third place when his pocket kings couldn't hold up against the pocket twos of Yeung. Kiriopoulos had the lead entering heads-up play by about 2-1. The two battled for quite some time, but in the end, Kiriopoulos was too much for Yeung to handle. Kiriopoulos won the big pots and the majority of the small pots to finish Yeung off and win his first WPT title. On the final hand, Kiriopoulos called Yeung's shove with pocket tens. Yeung had the [poker card="Jd"][poker card="6d"] and failed to improve. He earned C$362,853 ($268,511) for his runner-up finish. Hublot WPT Player of the Year Update With the win, Kiriopoulos soared past $1 million in career live tournament earnings. He also picked up a $15,000 seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions and 1,200 points in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race. Ping Liu added to his Hublot WPT Player of the Year lead with a 62nd-place finish at WPT Fallsview. Liu now has 1,900 points and is 50 points ahead of Tony Ruberto in second place. Liu has six cashes and two WPT final tables on the season. Schwartz, who took fourth at WPT Fallsview, added 800 points to move to 1,650 points overall. He's currently in third place. The winner of the Hublot WPT Player of the Year for Season XVII will earn a $15,000 WPT Passport that can be used as buy-in credit across global WPT events. The winner also receives a custom Hublot watch. Second place in the race will earn a $7,500 WPT Passport, and third place gets a $2,500 WPT Passport.
  6. The World Poker Tour heads back to fabulous Las Vegas on Monday, March 11, for the first of three consecutive final tables at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino. The three final tables to play out are, in order, the WPT L.A. Poker Classic, WPT Gardens Poker Championship, and WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open. The WPT L.A. Poker Classic is headlined by four-time WPT champion Darren Elias and has a $1.015 million first-place prize up for grabs. What Are They Playing For? The winner of the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic will take home $1.015 million in first-place prize money. That includes a $15,000 seat into the season-ending Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions. As this event is a televised WPT event, the winner will also score a luxurious Hublot Big Bang timepiece. 1st Place: $1,015,000 2nd Place: $646,930 3rd Place: $473,280 4th Place: $346,550 5th Place: $267,400 6th Place: $201,650 Click here to read about how the final table was set. [caption id="attachment_623033" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] HyperX Esports Arena (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] How To Watch the WPT L.A. Poker Classic Final Table The final table for the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic takes place March 11 starting at 4 p.m. PT at the HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The event will be filmed for broadcast as part of the WPT’s televised schedule of events. You can wait for that airing on FOX Sports Regional Networks, or you could tune in live to the stream of the events that can be viewed on PokerGO. If you don’t have a subscription to PokerGO, sign up today using the promo code "POCKET5S" for $10 off the PokerGO annual plan. Now, let’s meet the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table. [caption id="attachment_623037" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Jean-Claude Moussa (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 1: Jean-Claude Moussa - 1,250,000 Jean-Claude Moussa is a 36-year-old player from Massachusetts, who entered this event with $516,544 in live tournament earnings. He has two prior WPT Main Tour cashes on record, including his career-best live tournament score of $321,840 when he finished fifth in the WPT L.A. Poker Classic back in Season VIII. Other notable results for Moussa included a deep run in the 2011 PCA Main Event for $45,000 and two cashes in the World Series of Poker Main Event for $25,027 and $24,808. Moussa enters the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table in fourth chip position with 1.25 million. [caption id="attachment_623039" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Matas Cimbolas (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 2: Matas Cimbolas - 4,675,000 Lithuania’s Matas Cimbolas seems to be becoming more and more of a fixture on the World Poker Tour by the day. The 25-year-old already has one WPT title to his credit thanks to winning WPT Nottingham in Season XIII for $313,327. At the end of last season, he made his way to the WPT Tournament of Champions final table and ultimately finished second for $265,590. Those are the two biggest scores of his live tournament career. Interestingly enough, when Cimbolas made the WPT Tournament of Champions final table, it was played out at the HyperX Esports Arena in Vegas. Whereas the enormity of the arena might cause some players to feel a little less comfortable, Cimbolas has the experience of playing there already under his belt. Another interesting note is that Darren Elias, who leads the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table, finished third in the WPT Tournament of Champions event that Cimbolas took second in, so these two have a bit of history on the very stage they’ll be competing on come Monday. Cimbolas entered the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic with just shy of $2 million in live tournament earnings. A third-place finish or higher would move Cimbolas ahead of Dominykas Karmazinas and into second on Lithuania’s all-time money list. Cimbolas enters the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table second in chips with 4.675 million. [caption id="attachment_623038" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] John Smith (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 3: John Smith - 895,000 John Smith is by far the oldest player at the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic. He’s also the shortest stack remaining. Don’t let those two things fool you, though. Smith packs plenty of game that’s received a popular following in recent years due to his success in the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship at the WSOP. In that event, Smith has results of 11th place in 2014 for $26,584, second place in 2016 for $198,192, and second place again in 2017 for $208,154. As Sean Chaffin wrote for the WPT, Smith served in the U.S. Army when he was younger. He was in Vietnam in the 1960s when a tank he was in hit a landmine. Everyone in the tank died, but Smith survived. He would later receive a Purple Heart for his service. Ahead of this event, Smith had $1.256 million in live tournament earnings. He has five prior WPT Main Tour cashes, with his best being a 20th-place result in the $25,000 buy-in WPT World Championship in Season III for $75,485. Smith enters the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table as the shortest stack with 850,000. [caption id="attachment_623034" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Darren Elias (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 4: Darren Elias - 9,070,000 A four-time World Poker Tour champion, Darren Elias is "Mr. WPT." No one has won more WPT titles than Elias and on Monday he could better his record by scoring an unprecedented fifth. Elias’ first WPT title came in the Season XIII WPT Borgata Poker Open. There, he topped a field of 1,226 entries to win $843,744. Less than a month later, Elias beat a small but tough field of 118 entries in the WPT Caribbean for a score of $127,680. Elias’ third WPT win came in Season XV when he scored first place in the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic for $346,776. He then won the final event of Season XI, the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic, for $387,580. In addition to a victory on Monday being Elias’ fifth World Poker Tour trophy, he’d earn the largest live tournament score of his career. As mentioned above, the 32-year-old Elias has experience playing at the HyperX Esports Arena. On Monday, he’ll start the final table with a sizable lead on the other five. His stack of 9.07 million in chips in 41.5% of the chips in play and nearly double anyone else. [caption id="attachment_623035" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] David Baker (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 5: David Baker - 4,760,000 David Baker, better known as "ODB" to many in the poker world, has put countless hours into poker. In 2012, he finally won the elusive WSOP gold bracelet. Now he has a chance to win his first WPT title and a huge score of $1.015 million. https://twitter.com/audavidb/status/1103776743091953665 Baker has one previous WPT final table on record, coming back in Season V when he took fifth in the WPT Festa Al Lago tournament for $125,240. Money-wise, this is his best WPT result, but he’ll need to jump up two more places to make it his top finish. Second place or better will give Baker the largest tournament score of his live poker career. A win would mean his first World Poker Tour title and first million dollar tournament payday. Baker comes into the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table second in chips with 4.76 million. [caption id="attachment_623040" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Steve Yea (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Seat 6: Steve Yea - 1,205,000 If you’re a diehard follower of poker, you’ve heard the name Steve Yea. For casual fans, his name might not be so common, but Yea has been around for quite some time. Yea has live tournament results dating back to 2007 and he’s amassed more than $630,000 in live tournament winnings entering this event. He hails from South Korea and is making his first WPT Main Tour cash. Yea’s largest live tournament score came from a second-place finish on the Asian Poker Tour in 2008 when he won $250,000 in an event in Macau. He also placed second in an APT event in 2009 in Manila for $100,000 as the second biggest live tournament score of his career. Yea enters the WPT L.A. Poker Classic final table fifth in chips with 1.205 million. [caption id="attachment_623036" align="aligncenter" width="1354"] Hublot WPT Player of the Year and Baccarat Crystal (photo: World Poker Tour)[/caption] Hublot WPT Player of the Year Implications With a prize pool of more than $5.1 million, the maximum amount of points in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race are up for grabs in the Season XVII WPT L.A. Poker Classic. The winner gets 1,400 points, with the rest of the point earnings for the final table as follows. 1st Place: 1,400 points 2nd Place: 1,200 points 3rd Place: 1,100 points 4th Place: 1,000 points 5th Place: 900 points 6th Place: 800 points As it stands, Ping Liu is the man to catch at the top of the Hublot WPT Player of the Year leaderboard. He has 1,900 points thanks to six cashes and two final tables in Season XVII. For the six players at this final table, the points would mean the most for Elias, as he’s the only competitor remaining with points entering this event. Elias has 150 points on the season and could shoot up to 1,550 with a win. That would put him in fourth place overall on the Hublot WPT Player of the Year leaderboard. For the other five, a victory would place them in sixth place on the leaderboard. Despite all of his success on the World Poker Tour over the years, Elias has never been crowned WPT Player of the Year. He has had some close calls, though. Last season, Elias finished third in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race. In Season XV, he finished sixth. In Season XIV, he ended up in 12th. In Season XIII, he finished second to Anthony Zinno, who also won two WPT titles that season. At the end of Season XVII, the Hublot WPT Player of the Year will win a $15,000 WPT Passport that can be used as buy-ins to any Season XVIII global WPT event and a Hublot watch. Second place in the race earns a $7,500 WPT Passport and third place gets a $2,500 WPT Passport.
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